It’s no secret people are feeling overwhelmed these days. The pandemic brought with it not only hardships on physical health and financial health, but also exacerbated mental and emotional health as well. As a leader, how can you balance empathy and accountability to support your people through hardship while continuing to meet the needs of your organization. Here are three reminders to keep top of mind as you lead your team:
1. SWITCH UP YOUR MODE OF COMMUNICATION
More than ever it’s important that you build authentic relationships with your team. Sure, it may be tough in a hybrid environment, but the phone still rings and the mail is still being delivered! Everything doesn’t have to be electronic communication. I’m not knocking a Zoom video check-in, but try a phone call (make it a walking meeting!) or send a handwritten note every now and then. This may take a bit more time out of your day, but it will mean the world to your team who may be feeling stressed right now.
2. SHARE FREQUENT FEEDBACK
Feedback can and should be both formal and informal. Everything doesn’t have to be official to be effective. For people working remotely, they need to know their work is making a difference (really, they need to know that no matter where their office is located). Employees need to feel connected and valued for what they bring to the table. Regular touchpoints should be a part of how we develop our employees’ confidence, and can also course-correct if they are not meeting expectations.
3. ASK FOR THEIR PERSPECTIVE
It’s more important than ever that we engage our teams: Ask them what they believe is working. “What challenges are you facing?” “What ideas should we consider?” “What are we missing?” “How can I lead better?” Our folks are bright and eager to share their perspectives if only we humbly open the doors for them to do so.
I hope you understand the criticality of communication to lead your teams during these challenging times. Becoming effective communicators will ease some of the emotional and mental health stressors our teams face, and that will free people up to feel happier and become more effective contributors in the workplace.